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bits from the DPL: June 2012

Howdy from DebConf12. It’s hot, but it’s also time to bother you again with a (not so) brief DPL activity report, this time for June 2012.

Time-based freeze: DONE, short freeze: TODO

Two highlights for this month. First, you’ve probably noticed Wheezy is
now frozen, YAY. This is huge achievement for the release, but also for
the project. It’s the first time we do a time-based freeze, and it took
some quite heated discussion at the beginning of the release cycle to
decide to do this. And we did it properly: respecting the planned month
and narrowing down the period later. This exercise has hopefully helped
both DDs in their package planning and our upstreams in targeting Wheezy
with stable releases of their software. Kudos to the release team for
their coordination work! Now we’ve the second part still TODO:
releasing Wheezy, without RC bugs, with a freeze period as short as
possible. See the beginning of my [last “bits from the DPL” mail][1] for
my usual song and dance 😛 on how to deliver that, together.



A lot of us will attend DebConf12. Enjoy it! … and take the chance to
both have fun and make great plans for Debian’s future. But remember
that “if it didn’t happen on a mailing list, it didn’t happen”. Not all
of us will be lucky enough to attend DebConf (in person or remotely).
Make sure that those who don’t can take part in your team decisions and
get informed of what is going to happen here.


– After discussion (and consensus) on debian-boot, I’ve asked to join
[FSF campaign on secure boot][11].

– Since [OIN][19] was seeking comments on their
[Linux System definition][12] (not really openly though: I learned
about it last minute from people directly in touch with OIN
representatives), I’ve contacted them proposing to include all “Debian
main” packages in their definition. I haven’t yet hear back from them,
but I doubt they’ll accept the idea. It’d be nice to have an official
answer about why, though.


Zack’s spring tour

I spent a significant part of June doing Debian talks ins some sort of
“spring tour” between Italy and France. In particular:

– I’ve taught a lenghty class about the Debian Project at the
[Insubria International Open Source Summer School][2] in Como, Italy
(see [slides][3])

– I’ve delivered the opening keynote at the yearly Free Software
conference in Ancona, Italy, [ConfSL’12][4] (see [slides][5])

– I’ve delivered the opening talk at the
[Debian for Scientific Facilities Days](
event organized by the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF)
in Grenoble, France (see [slides][6])

Many thanks to the organizers of these events for inviting and
sponsoring me (as well as other Debian people, in the ESRF case) and for
their interest in Debian.



– I approved (for a budget of ~2’000 EUR) and helped hosting the
[i18n sprint in Paris][7]. As a (great!) result of it, the i18n
infrastructure has now been moved on DSA administered machines. A more
detailed [report][8] is available. Thanks to all attendees and in
particular to Christian Perrier for the organization work.

– as part of the “Debian for Scientific Facilities” event, a
[Debian Science sprint][9] also took place at ESRF. Report is pending

– a BSP took place in Salzburg in June, see [the report][10] posted by
Bernd Zeimetz. I’ve approved using some Debian money (~350 EUR) to pay
for lodgement of some of the attendees



– DSA have been working on seting up the first machines we bought as
part of the yearly revamping plan of Debian hardware. As one of the
first user visible changes, [UDD][13] has been moved to a new, faster,
machine. I single this out because, if you’re doing RC bug squashing
(as you should! :-)), you’ll notice that the bugs search interface is
now much faster, hopefully making your release work less frustrating.
Similar improvements are forthcoming for other machines, while DSA
(thanks!) migrate other services to newer hardware.

– Last April I mentioned that we’re aiming at publishing comprehensive
Debian budget reports for the past couple of years and that one of the
blocker is access to our transaction information at SPI. This is still
a blocker, unfortunately. And we still don’t have an ETA on when it’ll
be fixed.

– The current owner of has let us know that he is willing to
hand over the domain to us. Finally.

– The European part of our Madrid protocol application for the Debian
trademark has been vetted by the European trademark office. Meaning:
Debian trademark is now officially protected in Europe.

– DuckDuckGo sent me a first report of the “donation” they’re ready to
make, based on our agreement with them. The aument is still unclaimed,
as we’re aiming at invoicing twice per year (to keep the papwerwork
low). It isn’t a stellar amount: 32.55 USD for the month of May.



Some relevant discussions for project evolution has been going on in
June and I took part into them. You might want to have a look at them:

– [proposal][14] to change the way DM permissions are handled

– [proposal][15] to change the policy ruling the domain

– we’ve been [discussing][16] debconf12 budget at length, including how
to deal with travel sponsorship requests in the future:

– in the “debian account on github” thread, I’ve proposed a
[general policy][17] for presence of accounts named “debian” on
non-free services

– the long quest on how to choose Wheezy artwork has
[come to an end][18], and we have a very nice theme now, thanks to
contributions by many artist and integration work by Paul Tagliamonte.
Not all went well in the process, but there are useful lessons for the



– I got quite some feedback about the debate with
I mentioned last month. My take away message from that feedback is
that many users have no idea about the multimedia capabilities (and in
particular of codecs availability) of recent Debian releases. We
should probably invest some communication energies into that.

– as planned, another tech-ctte IRC meeting has happened. I took part
into it, mostly asking to prioritize long standing issues, such as the
Python maintenance one. [Minutes][20] of the meeting are available.



PS the boring day-to-day activity log for June is available at

Stefano Zacchiroli zack@{,,} . o .
Maître de conférences …… …… . . o
Debian Project Leader ……. @zack on ……. o o o
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